The Democrats are more likely poised to win a majority in the House of Representatives than not in the US’ upcoming mid-term elections on November 6th.
That is according to Dan Rosenhack, the Economist’s Data Editor who has indicated in an Economist Youtube video published yesterday that the Dems hold a 8% majority nationally, according to the most recent polls.
However, whilst an 8% majority would represent an unambiguous Democratic victory in ‘fair elections’, Rosenhack points out that the distribution of voters across all 435 districts being contested for the House of Representatives largely favours the Republican party.
Democrats tend to hold larger majorities in a relatively smaller number of urban districts whilst Republicans hold smaller majorities in a disproportionately larger number of rural districts. The overall effect is to narrow the voting margins as they translate into seats in the US congress.
With these caveats in mind, however, Rosenhack’s own analysis claims that the Democrats need a 7% majority to stand a fifty-fifty chance of pulling off a majority. With an 8% majority forecast by pollsters, he therefore considers a Democrat victory as more likely.
Nonetheless, as Rosenhack himself points out, polls do carry a margin of error – as was witnessed during the presidential elections themselves, resulting in a Trump victory which stumped most analysts. A 2% polling error in favour of the Republicans would result in a Republican majority.
“Our model’s best guess is that the Democrats will win 229 seats,” states Rosenhack, providing a possible hint that current British bookmakers are undervaluing the Democrats’ odds as most consider 226 seats as the 50% cut-off boundary – i.e. where identical odds are offered for a Democratic result above and below the number of seats they stand to gain.